Neuroprotective effect of bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells promoting functional recovery from spinal cord injury

Tomoyuki Yoshihara, Masayoshi Ohta, Yutaka Itokazu, Naoya Matsumoto, Mari Dezawa, Yoshihisa Suzuki, Akihiko Taguchi, Yumi Watanabe, Yasushi Adachi, Susumu Ikehara, Hisashi Sugimoto, Chizuka Ide

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64 Citations (Scopus)


Neural cell transplantation, a new therapeutic strategy for replacing injured neural components and obtaining functional recovery, has shown beneficial effects in animal models. Use of this strategy in human patients, however, requires that a number of serious issues be addressed, including ethics, immunorejection, and the therapeutic time window within which the procedure will be effective. Bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells (BM-MNC) are attractive for transplantation because they can be used as an autograft, can be easily collected within a short time period, and do not have to be cultured. In a rat model of spinal cord injury (SCI), we transplanted BM-MNC at 1 h after SCI at Th 8-9 by injecting them into the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), and investigated the effect of this on neurologic function. In the acute stage of injury, we found a neuroprotective antiapoptotic effect, with an elevated concentration of hepatocyte growth factor in CSF. At 1 week after transplantation, the Basso-Beattie-Bresnahan locomotor score had increased significantly over its baseline value. In the chronic stage of injury, we observed suppressed cavity formation and functional improvement. We conclude that transplantation of BM-MNC after SCI has a remarkable neuroprotective effect in the acute stage of injury, suppressing cavity formation, and contributing to functional recovery. Our results suggest that transplantation of BM-MNC via the CSF is a potentially effective means of enhancing functional recovery after SCI in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1026-1036
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Jun


  • Bone marrow-derived mononuclear cell
  • Cell transplantation
  • Cerebrospinal fluid
  • Neuroprotection
  • Spinal cord injury


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